Preliminary investigations revealed that the proximity of Eucalyptus trees to grapevines can directly influence the concentration of the aroma compound 1,8-cineole present in the corresponding red wines.
For two different vineyards, the closer the grapevines were to the trees, the greater was the amount of 1,8-cineole in the wines elaborated from those grapes.
This led us to carry out further studies to quantify the levels of 1,8-cineole found in grape berries, leaves, and stems at set distances from Eucalyptus trees over multiple vintages.
Generally, the highest concentration of 1,8-cineole was found in the grapevine leaves, followed by grape stems and then grapes. In each sample type, we observed greater concentrations of 1,8-cineole in samples closer to the trees.
Various fermentation treatments carried out with Shiraz grapes showed that matter other than grapes (MOG, e.g., Eucalyptus or grape leaves) could contribute significant amounts of 1,8-cineole to the finished wines.
These studies confirmed that vineyard position and winemaking conditions can determine the 1,8-cineole concentration in red wine.
The fermentation study also showed for the first time that the concentration of rotundone in red wine can be strongly influenced by grapevine leaves and stems in the ferment.
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